Mercy me: MRSA Superbug headline is superhype

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A journalist tipped me off to a story by headlined, “Researchers Put An End To MRSA Superbug After Successful Genome Sequencing.”

It is absurd to project that these UK researchers have put an end to MRSA.

Further, the story allowed the researchers to get away with this claim, unchallenged:

Using fast genome sequencing technology, the researchers suggest they could also find a way to control other hospital superbugs like salmonella and E. coli, and diseases such as tuberculosis.

But one wonders if that’s really what they said, because late in the piece comes this calmer caveat from the lead researcher:

“Our study indicates the considerable potential of sequencing for the rapid identification of MRSA outbreaks,” added Professor Sharon Peacock, lead author from the University of Cambridge and clinical specialist at the Health Protection Agency. “What we need before this can be introduced into routine care is automated tools that interpret sequence data and provide readily understandable information to healthcare workers. We are currently working on such a system.”

MRSA is no joke.  It should not be the subject of such unforgiveable headline hype.

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